Today’s guest-post is written by Jessica, author of Defining Wonderland. Jessica is my favorite (and one of few) Californian blogging friends. Jess and I rejoice on the beauty of being an Aunt, share a love for reading and baking for others, and both have misunderstood dogs (hers is Jake the Worm). While Jess is a trained Wish Granter, I volunteer as an “Angel” at Give Kids the World with children that wishes are granted to. As you can tell, we have a lot in common (one of the reasons I call her my blog soul-mate), and I chose Jessica to close Inspiration Week on SSBlog with discussing one of my most favorite topics: how to find inspiration. Essentially, you can read motivational and inspirational stories all you would like, but unless you find something that works for you directly, then they are simply stories. Jessica breaks down “finding inspiration” in a wonderfully well written post below.
First off, a big thank you to Stephanie for allowing me to be a part of Inspiration week! For those who don’t know me, which I’m assuming is pretty much everyone, I’m Jessica and I write a little blog called Defining Wonderland. I started blogging this year as a New Year’s Resolution (no less than one post every week for one year) and never thought anyone would ever read it besides the friend who suggested I start a blog in the first place. I have thoroughly been enjoying “meeting” new folks all over the world that I wouldn’t have known without the blogosphere
That’s how I found Stephanie. I was instantly drawn to her when I saw that she volunteered at Give Kids the World. As a Make-a-Wish Wish Granter, I know all about GKTW and how special of a place it is for kids with life-threatening illnesses. As random as that was, Steph and I both happened to make our blogs a dot-com and post about it within twenty-four hours of each other. It was like the planets aligned, we signed on the hypothetical dotted line, and became blog soul mates.
So when she asked me to guest blog during her Inspiration Week, I was delighted, honored, and completely flabbergasted. Then the fear set in.
What the heck do I know about inspiration? Luckily, I had some time to think about it.
It’s easy to talk about inspirational people or stories, but talking about how to get inspired, now that’s tough. The trouble is, inspiration is different for everyone. Some people find inspiration in the beauty of a daisy growing in the middle of a patch of grass. Some find it in a friend that goes through chemotherapy with a smile on her face. Others are inspired by challenges like completing marathons, moving to a town where you don’t know anyone, or being Freshly Pressed (hint, hint WordPress gods).
For me, I’m inspired by a sister who goes through hours of labor without painkillers and pushes a human being out of her body, a nephew who falls down and gets right back up to run again, a mother who worked her way from the bottom of a company to the top while being a single parent, a man who chose to be a father to a young girl though he wasn’t genetically obligated, by bloggers whose kind words make it easier to keep this New Year’s resolution than I ever thought possible. The list goes on and on and these are just the people who inspire me.
Inspiration isn’t something you can pick up at the local farmer’s market or order on amazon.com. Sometimes, it’s a bit trickier to find.
Like most writers, I suffer through bouts of writer’s block. The well of ideas runs dry and I drift aimlessly through a sea of cleverly written and thought-provoking blogs by my counterparts that silently mock my empty mind and blank screen. There are days when I just don’t have anything that I feel is worth writing about and I wonder when my muse will show her beautiful face again. “Where are you?” I cry out to the heavens in not-so-quiet desperation. And I plug through, determined not to fail at my resolution and trying to give my readers what they wanted when they clicked that “Subscribe to Blog” button.
It’s difficult to force yourself to push through the hard times and keep going, but you owe it to yourself to do it. There are times in life when it’s easier to say, “Forget it” or “I’ll do it tomorrow” and then never finishing what you wanted to finish.
I know a couple whose son is a four-time Olympic diver. Before London, he had never won a medal and came as close as fourth place. Today, he won bronze. To say his parents are proud is a complete understatement, but the fact that he persevered is what makes his story so inspiring. After coming home from three Olympic Games empty-handed, he didn’t let defeat stop him from his dream. He worked on his dives over and over and over again, made the London-bound Team USA, and won a medal.
Inspiration is nothing without motivation. Sure, you can be inspired to write a literary masterpiece or compete in an Ironman triathlon, but what are you doing to get there?
You have to do what works for you. If you, like me, are driven by goals, set them and tell people about what you’re doing. When you tell folks about what you’re doing, you’re more likely to 1) get the support you need 2) hold yourself accountable, and 3) look for inspiration in your everyday life. There’s nothing wrong with asking people to help you come up with ideas to succeed in whatever you want to do.
Because that is inspiration in itself.
* Stephanie’s sentiments: A huge thank you to Jessica for ending Inspiration Week on SSBlog on a high note! I couldn’t have made this week possible without Laura, Melissa, Amber or Jessica, so I send a sincere thank you to all guest bloggers. I think I speak for all of us when I say “we hope you have enjoyed what you have read!”
Have a lovely weekend and don’t forget to tune in next week for a BLOG GIVEAWAY! (Disclaimer: not giving away our blog but something just as good).